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The Type 62 Light Tank Description
The Chinese Type 62 Light Tank, is a scaled down version of the Chinese Type 59 Tank. By reducing its size, armour and main gun, the resulting Type 62 design was lighter, exerted a low ground pressure and provided an improved mobility allowing it to operate in the rugged/mountain terrains of China that heavier Chinese tanks couldnt get too.
Type 62 Layout
The Type 62, aka WZ131 has a traditional vehicle layout. The vehicle commander sits on the left side of the turret, the gunner in front og him, the gun breach to the right and the loader stands on the right side. The driver sits on the left in the front of the hull, with the engine in the rear of the hull.
Type 62 Firepower
The Type 62 main gun is the 85mm rifled Type 62-85TC. 47 rounds are stowed in the vehicle, ranging froh Armoured Piercing, HE HEAT. The main gun can be elevated from -4 to +20 degrees. The vehicle was later upgraded with a 105mm main gun.
Type 62 Protection
The vehicel is constructed of steel and overall is thinner than the Type 59. It is estimated that the hull armour is 35mm and the cast turret is 50mm over the frontal arc. Later models received a new welded turret and capable of having Explosive Reactive Armour added.
The vehicle is capable of generating a smoke screen by injecting diesel in to the hot exhaust, whilst upgraded models were fitted with a bank of smoke grenade launchers on either side of the turret.
Type 62 Mobility
The vehicle overall has good mobility and is powered by a 430hp diesel engine. It uses torsion bar suspension and interesting the road wheels are singular, not pairs like on most tanks. This was done to reduce weight.
Type 62 Tank Variants
Early prototype. Development of vehicle was completed in 1959. The new tank, weighing 16 tons, was equipped with a four-wheel torsion-bar suspension and a rear placement of the drive wheel, and mounted a 57mm main gun (later upgraded to 76mm).
First production model, aka WZ-131. Development began at Factory 674 (Harbin First Machinery Building Group Ltd) in 1958. It entered production and service with the PLA in 1963.
The Type 62-I
Number of upgrades, most noticeable is the Laser Range Finder mounted above the main gun, sheild mounted around the 12.7mm Machine Gun mounted on the Loaders hatch and smoke grenade launchers on wither side of the turret. Some were also spotted later on with side skirts on the hull and a storage rack on the turret. aka WZ-131A
The Type 62G
Fitted with a new all welded turret with angled panels, it has a new 105mm main gun with a vertical stabilization system, modern fire-control system, and night vision equipment.
Type 62 Tank Photo Gallery
Type 62 Tank Specifications
Firepower: 85mm 62-85TC rifled Main Gun, 7.62mm Coaxial MG and 12.7mm MG
Ammo Storage: x47 85mm, x1750 7.62mm, x1250 12.7mm
Length Gun Forward: 7.9m
Length Hull: 5.55m
Weight: 21 tonne (Combat)
Engine: 430hp Liquid Cooled Diesel
Top Road Speed: 60 km/h
Operational Range: 500km
Vertical Obstacle: 0.7m
Side Slope: 40%
The Type 62 Light Tank Operators
It served in the 1979 Sino-Vietnam border conflict, which resulted in heavy losses. It is no longer in PLA service, but is still operated by less affluent nations.
Democratic Republic of Congo